Russia and the US are considering a fresh presidential meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, the Russian foreign minister said on Thursday.
The schedule of the presidential contact is being discussed at ministerial and deputies’ levels, Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference in Minsk following a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
"There is an absolutely obvious mutual aspiration to develop such contacts. When we reach mutually acceptable terms, we will certainly inform you, and it will be done by the presidential administration," Lavrov said.
Speaking at the Russian Energy Week in Saint Petersburg on Wednesday, Putin said US high-ranking diplomat Victoria Nuland discussed organizing a new presidential summit during her visit to Moscow this week.
"The Under Secretary of State is currently in Moscow. She and her Russian colleagues are discussing details of our further contacts with Biden," Putin had said.
'Timely, helpful' visit by US diplomat
Nuland's visit was "helpful and timely," according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who said in a separate statement that the sides have "ultimately frank talks without smoothing things over."
Diplomatic work and issues were on the top of the agenda, she said at a press conference on the sidelines of the Third Eurasian Women's Forum in Saint Petersburg.
Zakharova recalled that Nuland's visit became possible after the US granted a visa to a Russian diplomat heading to the UN.
"He (the Russian diplomat) was refused a US visa although he was going not to the US, but to the UN, which is located in the US. It is very important. The United States has obligations as the host country of the international structure to ensure the normal work of both this structure and its employees and representatives of countries that interact with each other on the UN platform.
"Issuing visas to those foreign diplomats, public figures, and experts who arrive at the UN headquarters in New York to work and participate in conferences and symposiums are a direct responsibility of the United States. It should not depend on bilateral relations or on any other factors in US policy," Zakharova stressed.
Refusing the Russian diplomat a visa, Washington violated its obligations, she added.
And although this situation has been resolved, it is necessary to remove all restrictions that are imposed on a reciprocal basis so that embassies and consulates can work normally, the spokeswoman stated./agencies